SNEAK PEEKS AT 2007

Category: 300 News | Posted by: admin
Article Date: December 29, 2006 | Publication: The Mirror | Author: David Edwards
Publication/Article Link:http://www.mirror.co.uk

As we head into the New Year, it seems 2007 is set to be the year of the sequel with some of cinema's best-loved characters returning. So does this mean more thrills and spills from some of our best-loved movie heroes, or is it a sign that Hollywood is playing it safe as box office figures continue to slide? We'll all find out in the next 12 months. In the meantime, a Happy New Year to you all.

KIDS

If the last two films were anything to go by, we can expect some gorgeous animation and a slick plot from Shrek The Third, as the less-than-jolly green giant teams up with Donkey for more fairytale exploits, with Mike Myers, Cameron Diaz and Eddie Murphy all reprising their voiceover roles.

On past form, we can also expect big things - and big box office - from Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix as the teen wizard takes on Lord Voldemort once again. But the longrunning series could well face a serious challenge from His Dark Materials: The Golden Compass. Based on Philip Pullman's highlyregarded children's books, this is the first in a planned series with a big-name cast including Daniel Craig, Nicole Kidman and Eva Green.

It's too early to predict just what we can expect from yet another big-screen version of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, but the trailer sure looks fun. In their fourth movie, Raphael, Donatello and the gang are called in to rescue New York from an army of monsters.

And with Happy Feet still dominating the box office, there'll be more penguin-based fun in the shape of the animated Surf's Up, based on the Penguin World Surfing Championship. No, really.

HORROR

Everyone's favourite cannibal, Hannibal Lecter, will be back for more raw meat, washed down, no doubt, with a fine chianti in Hannibal Rising. Released next month and based on Thomas Harris's new novel, we'll be taken back to Lecter's childhood to see what made him such a monster to begin with. France's Gaspard Ulliel will play the lead.

Meanwhile Quentin Tarantino, the man behind Pulp Fiction and Reservoir Dogs, will team up with Robert Rodriguez to bring us the double-bill Grindhouse, comprising two features - Death Proof and Planet Terror. The first will star Kurt Russell as a stalking stuntman, while the second will see a woman with a machine-gun for a leg (seriously) take on hordes of the living dead. It's all shot to resemble the trash horrors of the early '70s and is out in April.

Three years after the Brit horror flick 28 Days Later comes the sequel 28 Weeks Later in which London, abandoned since the outbreak of a deadly virus, is due to be repopulated by the Americans. And, of course, it all goes horribly wrong.

Finally, Will Smith is set to whup some vampire butt in I Am Legend, a remake of Charlton Heston's classic 1971 horror, The Omega Man, in which the last person left on Earth must fight off nightly vampire attacks.

THRILLERS

It's already being talked of as an Oscar contender, and rightly so because The Last King Of Scotland is a thoroughly gripping look at the rule of African dictator Idi Amin, with Forest Whitaker now the hot favourite for the Best Actor gong. It's out in January and well worth a look.

Russell Crowe had a lousy 2006 thanks to the totally underwhelming A Good Year, but 2007 may be better with the '70s-set An American Gangster, in which the grumpy actor joins up with Denzel Washington and Cuba Gooding Jr for some gritty drug smuggling action.

On a less serious note, George Clooney, Brad Pitt and Matt Damon will team up once again for more capersome crime in Ocean's Thirteen, out in June. And talking of Damon, he's set to reprise his role as a secret agent uncovering his past in The Bourne Ultimatum.

We can also expect some decent historical drama in the shape of 300 and Beowulf. In the first, the King of Sparta will take on some marauding Persians, with the cast including Gerard Butler and Lena Headey. The second film will see Angelina Jolie, Anthony Hopkins and John Malkovich star in a much-anticipated version of the classic tale about a Scandinavian warrior.

COMEDY

The biggest film of 2006 - vaccuming up more than a billion bucks - gets another sequel as Johnny Depp again reprises his role as Cap'n Jack Sparrow for Pirates Of The Caribbean: At World's End. Joined once again by Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley, he'll be sailing to the edge of the map for one last high seas battle. Expect a release in May.

Closer to home, our very own Simon Pegg will reunite with Spaced star Nick Frost for cop comedy Hot Fuzz. Also in the home-grown cast are Timothy Dalton, Steve Coogan, Bill Nighy, Martin Freeman and Edward Woodward.

Also look out for the big-screen debut of TV's best-loved dysfunctional family when The Simpsons Movie gets released in July. Details are scarce but the trailer, now showing on the web, looks hilarious.

Also promising is Knocked Up, brought to us by Judd Apatow, the man behind The 40-Year-Old Virgin. This time, a girl gets pregnant after a one-night stand.

And the buzz is that Blades Of Glory is set to tickle our funnybones as two rival Olympic skaters find a loophole to get round a ban from the games. It stars Will Ferrell.

ACTION

Bruce Willis is set to don that grubby white singlet to take on the terrorists once again in Live Free Or Die Hard. Released in July, it could be just the thing to revive old slaphead's career and is bound to prove one of this summer's most talked about blockbusters.

Talking of comebacks, Sylvester Stallone will be getting back into the ring for Rocky Balboa, out next month. Down on his luck but still with something to prove, the old slugger is tempted back for one last match against the new heavyweight - with predictably feelgood results.

Mel Gibson will also be hoping to deliver a knockout punch with Apocalypto, which comes out the same month. Set in the last days of the Mayan civilisation, it shot to No1 in the States where it was criticised for gratuitous amounts of gore. I had a first look a few weeks ago and it's a powerful piece of filmmaking.

The next 12 months will also see a certain superhero swinging back into action in Spider- Man 3, with the webslinger taking on Thomas Haden Church's Sandman. And there'll be more superhero thrills and spills with Fantastic Four: Rise Of The Silver Surfer, due in cinemas in June.

Finally, those robots in disguise so popular in the '80s will be hitting the big screen as the Transformers threaten the future of humanity with a huge battle between the Autobots and Decepticons.